I’ve seen and held the new Blackberry Storm on several quick occasions in the past but only able to really tinker with it yesterday. Here are some of my first-hand impressions about the device and why I thought it was a tricky proposition for RIM to venture into the touchscreen handhelds.
This isn’t a full review but I’d like to share some of the things I found unconventional about the Blackberry Storm. The Storm has some pretty solid construction but the glossy black plastic casing in front is prone to scratches while the back panel has a brushed metallic finish.
Unlike most other touchscreen phones, the Storm’s screen can be pressed down (much like the trackpad of the new Macs). The displayed screen is recessed and you’ll need more than just a simple tap — the difference is somewhat like that of the computer keyboard and a mechanical typewriter. On that same note though, scrolling through the screen menu can be a bit confusing (but then again, this is my first time to ever use a Blackberry).
There’s some haptic feedback and the icons/keys light up with a tap but you would need to press down harder. It’s something that a lot of touchscreen users might find some time to getting used to. I got the hang of it but sometimes you’ll find yourself tapping an item several times to activate it. I guess this is RIM’s approach to answer that lingering complaints about touchscreen phones not having enough tactile feedback.
It has a pretty decent auto-focus camera too, considering I took this under low light. Here’s a sample photo below.
The web browser is proprietary RIM but reminded me of Opera Mini which is light and quick. There are some bugs on the re-draw of pages with ghost images but they’re not a big issue.
What impressed me the most was the sound and video quality. Beats the iPhone hands-down and comparable to the SE XPeria X1. The audio gets muffled when the device is placed down since the speakers are smack right at the back. The unit shown here is not the official one released for the Philippines (it’s a Verizon one showed to me by the guys at Novare) and does not have WiFi. However, looks like the version for the Philippines doesn’t have WiFi too.